Monday, 16 April 2012

Book Review - Main Street Vegan

So, this one isn't a cookbook, really. There are some recipes - 40, which is one per chapter illustrating the content of the chapter in food form - but many of these are contributed. I did make some (read, quite a few) of the recipes (how could I not) and my review of those follows as always. As this isn't a cookbook there are no pictures, nutritional information, or layout comments to be had, instead I'm going to speak in glowing terms of the content of the book as I really enjoyed this read.

Victoria Moran has written a book for anyone who has questions about what it means to be vegan in the real world, be you vegan already, or just vegan curious. What I see as the main message in the book, underlying all the information about what it is to be vegan, is that everyone can be vegan, there is no right or wrong way to approach this lifestyle, and that you should just do what you can, as you can, as funds, circumstance, and temperament allow. Real life, real time solutions and suggestions for everyone. The vegan information itself is given in a friendly, non-judgmental (and not overly scary for those who find animal cruelty information hard to read) way, which is easy to follow and assimilate. It makes you think, and at the same time to realise "I can do this" (if you're not doing it already).

There is a "whole foods for health" focus in the writing, but not to the exclusion of what the author knows is the real world where people eat all sorts of things all the time - whole foods are held to be the ideal to strive towards, but all the time Victoria stresses that all you need to do to be successful as a vegan (and to help our planet, your health, and the animals) is start by substituting non-animal products from the animal ones you currently eat (if any) and taking it from there.

The book does have a North American focus, being as that is where the author lives, so where it gives products and the like in the appendices these are ones commonly found over the continent. Alot of the resources are Internet based (as is a lot these days) so I don't feel this should put anyone in other parts of the world off, you may just have to investigate brand names in your part of the world.

Now the recipes I tried - in page number order, and with contributor noted if not Victoria's recipe.

Page 50 - Neat Loaf

From "The Peaceful Palate" by Jennifer Raymond.

I did make a substitution as I had no wheat germ. Very tasty, if a little inclined to crumble, good hot and cold with lovely little bits of crunch from the nuts.

Page 80 - Cheapish Chili

Really enjoyed by my husband ("best chili we've had for ages") though I was a little ho-hum about it. Easy to make and I used TVP instead of the commercial ground round.

Page 146 All Hail the Kale Salad

From "By any Greens Necessary" by Tracye Lynn McQuirter

I do like kale salad. This one is strong on the onion and garlic, but not too strong for me as I like them too. Simple, fast and tasty.

Page 179 House Dressing

From Chef AJ

Nice dressing, tangy and a little tart, but with a lot of interest as you eat it. No oil either.

Page 197 Spicy Coconut Lime Grilling Sauce

Nice enough, not over the top flavor but gives a coconut base for your item (I used Tofu).

Page 198 Asian Peanut Glaze

Good flavour, though a little thin. Used on tofu. I thickened the leftovers with a little arrowroot and used as a tasty sauce.

Page 229 Peanut Butter "Minus" Cookies

From Kay Stepkin

Oh, these were yummy. Not too sweet and very peanut-y. I had 2 for breakfast one morning and didn't feel (very) naughty.

Page 269 Krispy Kale Chips

One of the more simple kale chip recipes I've used recently. Tasted lovely - nice and crisp.

Page 314 Chickpea Curry

By the time the liquid was reduced as stated the veggies were well overcooked. Next time I'd use less water or thicken with a slurry instead. Tasted pretty good.

Page 344 Chocolate Mousse

From "Raw Food Made Easy for 1 or 2 People" by Jennifer Cornbleet.

This was luscious. When the Vitamix people send me a free Vitamix blender to test (hint) I would make this to ensure it is totally smooth - my blender didn;t get it perfect. So rich, creamy and good.

1 comment:

Easy Food Recipes said...

Love this blog :) Love this book :)